I watched Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant at Clemson last year, and one thought couldn't get out of my head.
"Wow, this guy reminds me so much of Chris Henry, it's eerie."
Chris Henry, the late Bengals receiver, wasn't known for route-running or the nuances that go with the wide receiver position. Minus the off-the-field stuff, Henry was simply known as a guy who simplified his job; he ran, he jumped and he caught the ball.
NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling mentioned the other day the possibility of Bryant starting for the Steelers. His skill-set isn't really one in which he earns a starting job, but that doesn't mean he can't get on the field quite a bit.
He's raw enough where it's unclear whether it even matters. Henry was raw. He was also nearly comically lanky (teammates called him "Slim"), but he had springs in his feet, running with the same fluid gait Paper Champions points out in his film breakdown of Bryant.
Bryant was so highly regarded, the Steelers nearly drafted him in the third round, and some missed the memo that they did not.
Steelers thought of drafting Bryant on the third round, in fact just passed out a bio of him saying they DID draft him on third round.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) May 10, 2014
Archer, Bryant. Tomato, tomahto, right?
They got their guy, and they got him at a great spot - Henry was a third-round pick out of West Virginia in 2005. Henry was used as a situation-based receiver early in his career; the Steelers can use Bryant in a similar fashion.
Upon reviewing his tape and having studied him quite a bit, Bryant may be the name we talk about with the most excitement at this time next year. He may not catch more than 20 passes, but his ability lends evidence to the belief a few of them will be big ones.